Seven albums into one of country music’s most-respected and most-unpredictable careers, award-winning singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley continues to grow. His latest evolution comes in the form of RISER, a project due out Feb. 25, 2014 that stands as his most personal to date.
Written and recorded in the year following his father’s death, the album draws its title from “I’m A Riser,” a song about resilience and determination. “I’m A Riser” works as a commentary on spiritual, personal and societal recommitment, but it also applies to the competitive battlefield of the music industry. It’s particularly appropriate for an album about rejuvenation delivered by Bentley.
“Life in general has a way of knocking you down,” Bentley says. “It’s different reasons for different folks – could be personal reasons, could be family reasons, your job, drugs, alcohol. That song really applies to anybody that’s lived. There have always been those moments when we have to get back up and get on our feet. They are defining moments…breakthrough moments.”
Accepting change – and growing from it – is a key theme in RISER, and it is reflected by the tone of the album, which demonstrates a new artistic depth and an extra level of intensity for Bentley. It evolves from track to track, exuding a range of emotions, all the while impressing upon the listener that Bentley’s instinct for a hit is stronger than ever. Bentley made significant reconfigurations in his creative team to shake up his sonic texture without sacrificing his commercial drive. He re-enlisted executive producer Arturo Buenahora, Jr., who worked on Bentley’s first two albums; and utilized producer Ross Copperman, who co-wrote “Tip It On Back” for Bentley’s previous album Home.
The new atmosphere yielded the most focused and intense vocals of Bentley’s career. Some were recorded live with the band as the musicians laid down the tracks, but others were captured in less-than-obvious locales. One track’s vocal was recorded on Bentley’s tour bus. Still others were cut at Copperman’s house with the producer literally at Bentley’s side, pushing him to some of his most emotional, and seasoned, performances.
“It’s not even really a studio,” Bentley says of Copperman’s set-up. “It’s just kind of a corner of the house he’s taken over, so there was a kind of intimacy to the vocal process. It was important to get out of the studio and sing in different places, and to do it with other people in the room. That way, you have an audience and you get a sense of what’s working, what’s not working, when it’s feeling good, not feeling good. It brings a little more emotion and energy out of your voice.”
Since making a life-altering drive with his father from Phoenix to Nashville when he was 19 years old, Bentley has forged his own path in an industry built predominantly on formula. He has mixed elements of modern country, classic country, bluegrass and rock, maintaining an unmistakable identity while constantly reinventing his sound. His album Home debuted at No. 1 and spawned three consecutive chart-topping hits, marking 10 career No. 1 songs for Bentley as a singer and songwriter. His five previous studio albums have sold more than five million copies, garnered 11 GRAMMY nominations and earned him an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry.
Keith Urban, Sam Hunt and Chris Stapleton have been added to the list of performers for this year’s ACM Awards. They’re joined by Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett, Reba McEntire, Cole Swindell, Rascal Flatts and Contemporary Christian singer Lauren Daigle.
Previously announced performers include ACM co-hosts Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, as well as Jon Pardi, Brothers Osborne, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and Florida Georgia Line with the Backstreet Boys.
Additional acts and presenters will be announced in the coming days.
The 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, will be broadcast live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas April 2nd at 8pm ET/delayed PT on CBS.
Keith Urban will appear on the talk show Harry on Wednesday (March 22nd), reuniting with his friend and fellow American Idol judge. [Check local listings]
Jon Pardi will perform his No. 1 hit, “Dirt on My Boots,” on ABC’s Good Morning America on Thursday (March 23rd). The ACM New Male Artist of the Year has dates in Tallahassee, Fort Myers and Las Vegas, before stepping on the stage of this year’s ACM Awards next week to perform and accept his award.
Darius Rucker will appear in Thursday night’s (March 23rd) episode of CMT’s Sun Records, playing singer Johnny Bragg, the leader of the doo-wop group, The Prisonaires, from behind bars at the Tennessee State Prison. Check out the clip of Sun Records below and watch the show Thursday at 10pm ET on CMT.
— CMT (@CMT) March 22, 2017
Darius Rucker teams up with John Mellencamp for CMT Crossroads premiering Friday (March 24th) at 10pm ET on CMT.
The Academy of Country Music® will host the ACM Party for a Cause: Songwriter Showcase on Friday, March 31st at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort. Hosted by Storme Warren, the evening will celebrate country music’s most distinguished songwriters, and feature performances by Ross Copperman, Luke Dick, Ashley Gorley, Matthew Jenkins, Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, Shane McAnally, Lori McKenna, Josh Osborne with Matthew Ramsey and Trevor Rosen of Old Dominion as well as special appearances by Dierks Bentley, Cam, Brandy Clark, Dean Dillon, and more.
Toby Keith, Alabama and ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons have been added to Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard. The all-star concert celebration takes place April 6th at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
The Band Perry will perform at the annual St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & 1 /2 Marathon Saturday, April 29th. They’ll play Music City’s Ascend amphitheater exclusively for runners and their families and friends.
Sam Hunt will perform as part of the PGA Tour’s annual Military Appreciation Day ceremony on May 9th. Sam will perform on the 17th hole at the Stadium Court at TPC Sawgrass in Ponete Vedra Beach, Florida on the kickoff day of the Players Championship. “I’m extremely excited to perform for our troops on the famed 17th hole during the Players Championship,” said Sam. “This tournament does so much to support the men and women serving our country. I am grateful to be a part of the festivities and am looking forward to putting on a great show.”
The 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards, hosted by Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan, will be broadcast live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on April 2nd at 8pm ET/delayed PT on CBS.
Check out some of the promos below.